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15+ Spanish Prepositions: What They Do And How To Use Them

Prepositions in Spanish

Have you tried to form a sentence but struggled to find the right Spanish prepositions to connect your elements, or did you use sobre (over) instead of debajo (under), and you became the laughing stock of your Spanish friends’ group? Don’t let this happen to you again, and learn with me how to correctly say Spanish propositions in today’s post.

Prepositions are one of the essential elements in the Spanish language but also one of the trickiest ones. Even native language speakers usually misuse them, so don’t feel bad if you strike out sometimes. It takes time to master these little words, but once you do, you’ll see that your speech will become much more consistent and, eventually, more fluent. That is our goal.

Despite not being the most important part of a sentence, your speech will become incomplete and a bit strange without prepositions. Imagine that the waiter in a Spanish restaurant asks you, “¿Te gusta?” and you answer, “Me like.” How weird would that sound? You instantly would become that Me likey meme that has been floating around the internet.

To make sure you don’t sound dumb and an amateur talking in Spanish, learning the correct preposition and the right way to use it is important to achieve fluency in this beautiful language.

If you reached this article post because you’re willing to make that extra effort to learn how to use Spanish prepositions correctly, let me teach you everything you have to know about what they do and how to use them. You can thank me later!

Converstion in Spanish

What Are Prepositions?

Preposiciones, or prepositions in English, are simply words that have a very particular function in a sentence. They link important words in a sentence, like nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Imagine a sentence like a concrete wall to make it a little more visual. While nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives are the actual bricks, prepositions are the concrete that connects them and makes a strong wall.

Despite having a particular function, Spanish prepositions can be of a wide array of topics, such as location, time, or any other connection you can imagine. Chances are that you already know a few (and already have been using them) but don’t even know what they are. Indeed, when you look at some examples, everything will make sense.

And Now, How To Use Them?

Well, now that we know what they are here for, we must know how to use them, and precisely where to put them in our sentences. This couldn’t be more simple, and the key is in the actual word: The “pre” shows that it comes before something, and the “position” just reiterates that. They are usually put before a noun or a verb in your sentence.

Let’s look at an example and explore the sentence “The computer is on top of the table”:

In English:

The computer is on the table

Subject + verb + preposition + noun

In Spanish:

La computadora está encima de la mesa

Subject + verb + preposition + noun

As you can see, both English and Spanish share the same structure in terms of the preposition location, coming before the noun in the sentence. These words are instrumental in your daily life. For example, you can use them when giving directions in Spanish

Most Common Spanish Prepositions

computadora computer - La computadora está encima de la mesa Spanish prepositions

After learning about the concept that is a preposition, let’s look at some of the most common Spanish prepositions and their use in the Spanish language.

 Although you’ll only see that there are 21 different prepositions in Spanish, this language actually has locuciones preposicionales, or compound prepositions formed by a group of words constituting a preposition. But one step at a time, let’s first have a look at the simpler prepositions.

  1. De

Meaning: This is a commonly used preposition in Spanish to describe possession, nationality, subject, and cause.

Examples:

  • Este es el coche de mi padre (This is my father’s car)
  • Soy de Portugal (I’m from Portugal)
  • Dame mi capa de lluvia (Give me my rain coat)
  1. A

Meaning: To, at.

Examples:

  • Voy a Bangkok (I’m going to Bangkok)
  • Llegué a la playa (I arrived at the beach)
  1. En

Meaning: in, on at.

Examples

  • En Enero (In January)
  • En avión (by plane)
  • En la puerta (at the door)
  1. Por

Meaning: for, because of, by

Examples

  • Me iré por dos semanas (I’ll be gone for two weeks)
  • El está enamorado de ti (He’s in love because of you)
  • Dos por dos (two by two)
  1. Con

Meaning: with

Example:

  • ¿Puedo tomar un café con leche? (Can I have a coffee with milk?)
  1. Para

Meaning: for, to

Example:

  • Viajo para conocer nuevas culturas (I travel to know new cultures)
  • Este pedido es para ti (This order is for you)
  1. Sin

Meaning: without

Example:

  • No puedo vivir sin ti (I can’t leave without you)
  1. Sobre

Meaning: on, about, regarding

Examples:

  • La computadora está encima de la mesa (The computer is on the table)
  • Tengo preguntas sobre tu oferta (I have questions about your offer)
  1. Hasta

Meaning: Up to, until

Examples:

  • Puedo contar hasta 100 en tagalo (I can count up to 100 in Tagalog.)
  • No saldremos hasta mañana a las 7 a.m (We won’t leave until 7AM tomorrow)
  1. Entre

Meaning: between, among, amid

Examples:

  • Puedo ir entre las 4 y las 5 de la tarde (I can go bbetween 4 and 5 pm)
  • Puedo hablar en español, entre otros idiomas. (I can talk in Spanish, among other languages)
  1. Desde

Meaning: from, since

Examples:

  • He estado esperando desde el mediodia (I’ve been waiting since noon)
  1. Hacia

Meaning: toward

Example:

  • Ve hacia la rotunda (Go toward the roundabout)
  1. Contra

Meaning: against

Example:

  • No tengo nada contra ti (I have nothing against you)
  1. Bajo

Meaning: under

Example:

  • El niño está bajo mi cuidado (The child is under my care)
  1. Ante

Meaning: Before

Example:

  • Nos presentaron ante la policía (We were presented before the police)
  1. Según

Meaning: according to

Example:

  • Según los críticos, la película es mala (According to the critics, the movie is bad) 
  1. Detrás

Meaning: after, behind

Example:

  • La chaqueta está detrás de la puerta (The jacket is behind the door)
  1. Mediante

Meaning: through

Example:

  • La entrevista será mediante una llamada (The interview will be through a phone call)
  1. Durante

Meaning: during

Example:

  • Vi una pelicula durante el viaje (I watched a movie during the trip)
  1. Versus

Meaning: versus

Example:

  • El partido de hoy es Francia versus Alemania (Today’s match is France versus Germany)
  1. Vía

Meaning: through

Example:

  • Te enviaré la carta vía correo electrónico (I’ll send the letter through an email)

Besides these prepositions, there are also compound prepositions made from two or more words in Spanish, such as encima de, fuera de, delante de, después de, junto a, debajo de or gracias a.

Wrapping Up!

Wow! You just learned the fundamentals to form a very complete and structured sentence in Spanish. However, these words won’t be helpful if you don’t enrich your vocabulary and grammar in Spanish. You’ll be left with empty and lonely words that you can only use to make a single-word sentence.

So why not invest in your ability to express yourself and learn a new language? And why not the second most spoken language in the world, Spanish? I can already feel your excitement so let me present you an app that has revolutionized my learning of new languages: Ling App!

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Want to learn Spanish anywhere and anytime with a simple click of a button on your smartphone? Ling app has hundreds of lessons, games, puzzles, and quizzes that will help you learn fun and engagingly! Download the Ling App from PlayStore and AppStore today and start learning the right way!

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